The Benefits of Armored Fiber Optic Cables

Nov 9, 2022

Thanks to technology, digital information can travel at the speed of light. This may sound like a major achievement, however, there’s one major issue to this technological innovation: Digital information travels through a fragile medium.

Fiber optics consist of strands of pure glass that are used to transmit information from one point to another. This has now become a standard for achieving the highest levels of speed, bandwidth, and data transfer. Unfortunately, as glass tends to be fragile, fiber optic cables on their own end up being extremely vulnerable to breaks and chinks to the glass which disrupt the connection for the entire line.

The solution? An Armored fiber cable. To be specific, Stainless Steel Micro Armor fiber optic cables may just be the fix for our internet’s Achilles heel.

Keep reading as we discuss all the benefits there are when making the switch to stainless steel armored fiber optic cables.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cables

Many cables come in two variants: regular (for indoor use) and heavy-duty (for outdoor use). A regular cable serves well for indoor usage in both commercial and industrial applications.

For example, ethernet cables used in a server bank. These cables won’t experience unusual amounts of stress and won’t experience environmental variables such as moisture or sunlight. They’ll work great when used indoors, but that becomes the limit of their effective usage.

The outdoors are a high risk setting for fiber optic cables. There’s water, sunlight, inclement weather, and a wide range of factors that can put extreme stress on cables. The standard indoor cable wouldn’t last long in these conditions.

Features of Outdoor Cables

As such, a decent outdoor cable should have the following features:

  • Water resistance
  • UV resistance
  • Rodent resistance
  • Chemical resistance 
  • Crush resistance

Armored fiber optic cables generally require a more complicated installation. These cables may need to run through walls, attics, under asphalt, or even underwater. They require special cable fixtures, ducts, and/or other outlets to carry them from point A to B.

In short, the installation of an armored cable is more extensive and costly. With this in mind, it is essential that these cables last for as long as possible to minimize the need for repairs or replacements.

It’s often a waste of time and resources to identify where a cable is broken. If a cable ceases to function, then the solution is sometimes for a complete replacement of the entire line. That is just too high of a risk which is why companies require the highest-grade cable they can get their hands on.

What Is Armored Fiber Cable?

Armored fiber optic cables are simply regular fiber optic cables with a resistant armored protection surrounding the fiber inside. Armored Fiber Cables take the outdoor cable to a whole other leve by protecting the fiber from nearly any conditionl. 

Shock and Pressure Resistance

First and foremost, they’re far superior when it comes to shock resistance. Many cables spend their time buried in the ground. They may sit a few centimeters under the topsoil, or deep in a channel.

Dirt can weigh down heavily on these cables. The pressure from humans or vehicles traversing over them only increases those pressures.

UV Resistance

Above-ground cables spend a lot of time in the sun. The sun’s UV rays have a tendency to rearrange the outward structure of materials, degrading them over time. 

Metal is ideal for heat dissipation, too. Plastic and composite run the risk of melting, whilst an armored cable can withstand high temperatures from the sun.

Water, Chemical, and Pest Resistance

Bugs and rodents love to nibble on cables. Plastic gives easily to pests, while certain metals like Stainless Steel are too difficult for them to chew through.

Whether above ground or below, moisture is a problem for cables. Perforous materials can let water in, which could spoil data transmission. 

Choosing the Right Armored Fiber Cable

Not all armored fiber optic cables are equal. An armored fiber optic cable like the aluminum interlock armor (also known as AIA fiber optic cable) is a less favorable example. Most of the armored fiber industry uses this type of armored fiber cable, however, this armored cable is on it’s way to being obsolete with the introduction of Stainless Steel Micro Armor due to it’s negative qualities.

For starters, the AIA is too thick and too heavy. It’s a cumbersome cable that feels less like an fiber optic cable and more like a weighted hosepipe. The result is a costly cable that’s more expensive to install with minimal benefit.

Its weight means it requires heavier-duty equipment just for the installation. Its thickness limits where you can place it meaning more challenges on  job site for installation. 

On top of difficulty in handling, AIA Fiber Optic Cables are not rodent rodent or crush resistant. Their malleable aluminum armor is easily crushed under the pressure of a vehicle going over it. Aluminum is also an easy material for rodents to chew threw meaning high vulnerability in cities and highly populated areas.

Stainless Steel Micro Armor Fiber Optic Cable

The Stainless Steel Micro Armor fiber optic cable patented and manufactured by Tinifiber solves all of the issues that AIA doesn’t. Stainless steel micro armor fiber optic cables are 65% lighter than its AIA fiber optic competitors as well as 75% smaller, too.

That means installing micro armor by Tinifiber is faster and cheaper. Technicians won’t have to wrangle a cable that’s far too heavy and cumbersome for its own good. You can install it in smaller, tighter areas where a larger cable might have trouble. 

Despite being smaller and lighter, the stainless steel micro armor cable is superior in strength and durability versus AIA. Stainless Steel Micro Armor is able to withstand everything AIA can as well as being rodent and crush resistant. Vehicles can drive over Micro Armor with no damage done to the inner Fiber. Rodents are unable to chew through stainless steel which keeps them away from damaging the inner fiber core. Stainless Steel Micro Armor can handle everything you throw at it and more. 

Install Your Armored Fiber Cable Today With Tinifiber

An armored fiber cable is the solution to the inherent weakness of fiber optic cables. However, some versions, like Aluminum Interlock Armor (AIA) are much heavier which limits their usage and require a more costly installation. The ultimate solution is to use Tinifiber’s stainless steel micro armor fiber cable, the superior choice with a much smaller footprint.

Contact Tinifiber today and request a consultation for fiber installation in your business.